J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Drawings from the Nude Model ?1792–9

Turner Bequest V K, XVIII B–K
The drawings assembled here seem to form a group, all executed around 1793–4, the first year of Turner’s attendance at the Life Class, or slightly later. Another academy study that probably dates from the period of this group, showing two men wrestling, is in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Several of the studies here bear monograms, witness to Turner’s experiments at this period with various ways of signing his work. Tate D00720 (Turner Bequest XXIX O) seems have been signed thus in token of its being a finished work, and Turner may have felt that some of the academy studies were similarly ‘complete’. The signature that usually appears on the watercolours of the mid-1790s is ‘WTurner’, sometimes with a florid ‘e’. He did not adopt the monogram incorporating all four of his initials until later, and then usually only on slight drawings; in the following century he preferred to sign himself ‘JMWTurner RA PP’ (alluding to his status as a Royal Academician and his position as the Academy’s Professor of Perspective.

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

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How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘Drawings from the Nude Model ?1792–9’, subset, April 2012, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/drawings-from-the-nude-model-r1140210, accessed 18 August 2017.